Learn what to do and how to get maximum compensation after an on-the-job injury
Worker’s compensation insurance is designed to provide employees with financial protection in the event of an accidental injury at work. In Arizona, 59,800 non-fatal injuries were reported by private industry employees in 2020 alone, which equals about 3 cases per every 100 workers.
While some work injuries are minor and require little or no treatment, others, like head and brain injuries, can be severely debilitating, requiring extensive medical care and time off work. Because of this, employers are required to carry workers’ comp insurance that provides coverage for medical bills, lost wages and other financial burdens that occur after work-related injuries.
In order to receive workers’ comp benefits in Arizona, it’s important that you follow all necessary procedures and adhere to the filing deadlines. This article will outline the process and explain the necessary steps to ensure you don’t miss your chance to be compensated after a work injury.
How does workers’ comp work?
Workers’ comp offers no-fault coverage for handling the financial costs of an injury that benefits both employees and employers. In Arizona, any company with at least 1 full- or part-time employee is required to purchase workers’ comp insurance to cover the cost of their employees’ injuries.
Since many work-related injuries can lead to expensive medical treatment and lost wages, having this policy in place can protect companies from going bankrupt by making sure that an employee’s medical expenses and lost wages are appropriately covered.
As an employee, having workers’ comp available helps to prevent problematic situations where an employer might refuse to pay for these types of costs. This is because an employee doesn’t have to prove that their employer was at fault for their injury to receive workers’ comp benefits.
What does Arizona workers’ comp cover?
Workers’ comp insurance is intended to provide:
- Protection to companies from legal liabilities that arise after an employee gets injured at work
- Reimbursement for the financial losses experienced by injured employees as they heal from an injury or illness that occurred on the job
The coverage a person can expect from their workers’ comp policy includes several key areas.
Depending on the severity of their injury, many employees require emergency room visits and other expensive forms of medical care. Fortunately, workers’ comp covers all necessary medical treatments related to a work injury.
Medical cost coverage can include hospital and doctor’s visits, surgeries, prescription medications and longer-term treatments, such as physical therapy. In order to qualify for these benefits, it’s important to seek immediate medical care after a work injury to get an accurate diagnosis that ties your injury to a work event. Additionally, be sure to follow the doctor’s orders to ensure you remain eligible for benefits.
Lost employee wages and benefits are another part of workers’ comp coverage. Most companies cannot afford to pay someone who is unable to work since they often have to pay someone to take their place temporarily. Workers’ comp will cover a portion of a person’s lost wages, typically two-thirds of your average weekly wage, for a period of time that varies depending on the severity of your injury.
In some cases, a person isn’t able to return to work shortly after they sustain an injury, or they may have an injury that dramatically alters how they’re able to perform their duties. In the case of short- or long-term disabilities, a person may have their medical bills and lost wages covered for a longer period of time.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine if you qualify for disability benefits.
If a worker dies as a result of their work injury, workers’ comp covers funeral expenses and provides death benefits to certain dependents.
What to do after a work injury to qualify for workers’ comp benefits
If you get injured on the job in Arizona, it’s vital that you follow the appropriate steps to get compensated. Failure to adhere to the designated procedures and filing deadlines could result in your workers’ comp claim being denied.
Taking the following steps after a work injury will help ensure you remain eligible for workers’ comp benefits:
- Seek immediate medical care. This step is crucial to establishing that your injury was a direct result of the accident you experienced at work. Failure to seek immediate medical care can severely impact your ability to receive benefits.
- Report the injury to your employer. You should let your supervisor or employer know about your injury as soon as possible and preferably in writing. After you notify them, your employer is required to notify their workers’ compensation insurance carrier and file a report with the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) within 10 days.
- File a workers’ compensation claim. To receive workers’ comp benefits, you must file a workers’ comp claim within 1 year of your injury.
- Contact a workers’ comp attorney if your claim is denied. Unfortunately, legitimate workers’ compensation claims are denied every day. If you believe you’re entitled to compensation after a work injury and your claim is denied, contact an experienced workers’ comp attorney who can ensure your rights are protected.
When to contact an Arizona workers’ comp attorney
Workers’ compensation claims can be complicated. One seemingly simple mistake can prevent you from getting the compensation you rightfully deserve. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can explain your rights, investigate your case and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you get maximum compensation for your injuries.